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See it, Hear it, Do it: Flash 5
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Editorial Review

People learn best when: they are motivated, having fun, working at their own pace, working on real-life projects,
and multiple senses are involved. So we put theory into practice and "See it, Hear it, Do it: Flash 5" was born.

Preliminary Research:
Round World Media founder, Valerie Landau was director of the Multimedia Studies Program at Ohlone College. She
taught and supervised seven multimedia instructors whose curriculum included Macromedia's Flash, Director and
Dreamweaver. Over the years she took notes on what was effective in teaching and what was not.

What was NOT effective:
She observed that the majority of students found it difficult and discouraging to follow along with the books and
online-help tutorials. Ms. Landau experimented with video-based training, but found the experience of working with
a keyboard, two monitors, and a VCR even more frustrating. Using more than one media (book and computer or
video and computer) made the technology get in the way of the learning.

What worked well:
Most students found the easiest way to learn was with a one-on-one demonstration of how to use the software as
they followed along. They were more motivation when working on projects they could send to people they cared

Based on Ms. Landau's research, we developed a project-based multi-sensory approach: using narration and
animation to simulate a one-on-one demonstration on one side of the screen, while students follow along using
Flash on the other. We wanted to fully immerse students in the Flash experience. So, we created an animated
tutorial about Flash 5 in Flash 5.

Usability research:
We finished the prototype and conducted usability studies with ten people of diverse ages and skill levels. The
testers included people with Flash 4 experience (wanting a quick update on Flash 5), others with some graphics
experience, and a few who had no prior graphics experience. The age range was from 13-66 years old.

All the testers were able to complete the e-greeting card successfully. However, testers who had no experience with
graphic software had greater difficulty because they had to familiarize themselves with new tools and concepts such
as: how to drag and draw with the oval tool, how to change colors in the color palette, and how to add layers.

Completion time varied between 1-3 hours, depending on prior skill level.

Based on the feedback, modifications were made. Since publications we have been delighted by the overwhelmingly
positive feedback.





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